'Indigenous People Are Stabilizing The Global Climate'
Candido Mezua is an indigenous leader from Panama who was present at the recent violent protests in Brazil. At the climate conference in Bonn, he tells DW why it's crucial for indigenous peoples to defend forests.
The Paris Agreement included indigenous peoples as a key element to improve climate protection. Recent studies have shown that titling land rights to indigenous communities decreases deforestation and forest degradation.
However, indigenous leaders say their land rights are still being violated - which prevents them from properly protecting the forests in which they live. Violent protests in Brasilia in late April have brought back the discussion back to the spotlight, as did a brutal attack on an indigenous tribe in Brazil at the beginning of May, in which a man had his hands cut off.
Candido Mezua, an indigenous leader from Panama, is taking part in the preparatory meeting for COP23 in Bonn, Germany, where DW spoke with him.
UN Photo/Joseane Daher